Hinman Dental Meeting Day Two

25 03 2011

Packed lecture halls and full hands-on courses were the norm as things got even busier during the second day of the 99th annual Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting in Atlanta. The mix of topics continued to span the dental team with sessions aimed at providing intricate technique details for clinicians, business tips for running the practice, lifestyle tips for everyone and even a course on how humor can be helpful in a practice.

In his session on implant overdentures, Dr. Joseph Massad engaged in a lively discussion with the attendees about his techniques for properly capturing the impression of both edentulous, partially-edentualous and post-surgical implant patients. He stressed that obtaining the correct impression was important for optimal outcomes and showed how to use a firm impression material as a quick way to generate a custom impression tray. Between videos of his techniques, Dr. Massad paused his lecture to answer questions from the audience and stressed the importance of communicating every detail of a case to the lab so the implant-retained restorations will fit the implants perfectly.

While that session was a lively lecture, the real action at the Hinman Meeting was going on in the numerous hands-on courses. Clinicians interested in improving their photography skills had the chance to test out dental photography with digital SLR cameras during a session led by Dr. Martin Goldstein. While that sesssion gave a small number of attendees hands on opportunities, his lecture later in the day filled a hall with an audience eager to learn about how digital photography can help build a practice. Dr. Goldstein explained that digital images are ideal because they can be easily stored, edited, shared with colleagues and used in a variety of ways, including to show patients simulated results of cosmetic treatments.

“When I’m talking about cosmetics with a patient, the days of handing them a mirror are over,” he said.

The massive exhibit hall at the Hinman Meeting was filled with dental companies big and small showing off their latest products, but the room was set up to offer much more. Five classrooms around the edges of the room featured hands-on courses, and windows around the room attracted people not in the classes to stop and take a peak in. Dr. Alfred Wyatt, Jr. led a session on lasers that gave participants 15 minutes to test out a laser from one company before switching tables so they could try a different model. Lasers from KaVo, Sirona, AMD Lasers, Biolase, DenMat, Discus, Ivoclar Vivadent, Lares Research, Millenium Dental Sytsems and GPT dental were on hand. Dr. Wyatt said this was one of the best ways for clinicians interested in adding a laser to find the one that would meet their needs and an opportunity he wished he could have taken advantage of back before he purchased his first laser.

Another hands on course drawing packed crowds was a series of sessions on preventive maintenance for dental equipment and technology. This session featured a series of small rooms each with a different type of equipment on display. The dentists and staff taking part in the trainings shifted rooms every so often while learning about caring for small equipment such as handpieces; treatment room equipment and delivery systems; mechanical systems; sterilization equipment; and x-ray equipment.

Another popular area off to the side of the trade show floor was the hands-on new products workshop featuring 18 products selected by Dr. Joseph Blaes, who chose items he felt were innovative and could be helpful to a practice. On display was VOCO America’s GrandioSO; GC America’s G-aenial; DENTSPLY Midwest’s ATC handpiece; Dux Dental’s Bib EZE; AMD Lasers’ Picaso; SciCan’s OPTIM 33 wipes; LED Dental’s VELScope VX; Philips Sonicare toothbrushes; Brasseler USA’s ET 3000; Bein Air’s Optima; CAESY 10 patient education; Discus Dental’s Zen cordless prophy; Premier Dental’s Traxodent; CarieScan; GoldenMisch’s Physics Forceps; Pelton & Crane’s Helios light and Septodont’s Biodentine.

Back in the classrooms, Dr. David Meinz was entertaining and packed house with a presentation about the keys to living a long life. He showed clips from news coverage of centenarians and explained the common factors leading to long and healthy lives, including mental and emotional engagement, friendship, eating healthy foods, exercise and activity. He explained that these lessons were things clinicians can take back to both their personal and professional lives by working messages about healthy living into their communications with patients.

“You can be in the health promotion business. It doesn’t have to take you any time at all to do that,” he said.

In a far less upbeat, but no less interesting presentation, Dr. Anthony Cardoza spoke about the roll dental professionals can play in dealing with a the health response to a major disaster or terror attack. Thus far Illinois and California have passed laws allowing such participation and Congress has a law on the topic through the House and on to the Senate. Dr. Cardoza said dentists, hygienists and dental assistants could all be vital parts of their community’s response by helping to triage patients, administer vaccinations and in other tasks, all with minimal training. While dentist may often be overlooked by other medical professionals, Dr. Cardoza said they could be of great importance during a disaster response and thus should be ready to put their skills and training to use.

Stepping away from the non-stop practice management software trainings she was presenting throughout the weekend, consultant Laci Phillips gave a Friday afternoon presentation about office technology and how it can help a dental practice be more efficient. With a nice dose of humor and back and forth with her audience, Phillips explained the value of e-services that can automatically verify patient insurance details, as well as recommended several scanners to help practices convert paper files to digital formats. She said practices will all be paperless eventually, but she does not believe the federal mandate will be the impetus for the change.

“What I do see is state laws and insurance companies taking us there,” she said.

As the second day of the meeting wound down, the social events around the education were getting ready to pick up. The final day of the event on Saturday was planned with plenty more interesting speakers and a few interesting touches such as a reception with food and drinks on the trade show floor Saturday afternoon, and even organizers said they were excited about how the 2011 Hinman Meeting has been going.

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99th Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting gets underway

24 03 2011

With a focus on continuing education for all members of the dental team, the 99th Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting got underway today in Atlanta. The three-day event was expecting 23,00 dental professionals to attend for the opportunity to sit in on hands on courses, lectures and walk the trade show floor, and judging by the first day, the education was the main attraction.

It was standing room only for an early morning presentation from Clinician’s Report founder Dr. Gordon Christensen who covered material choices for a variety of clinical indications. His engaging speaking style kept the crowd engaged, and he picked up quickly with his slides after pausing for questions from the crowd. As always, Dr. Christensen spoke about the importance of looking to the science behind dental materials rather than the marketing when making clinical choices.

“We’ve gone from professionalism to business,” he lamented when noting that many clinicians would prefer to extract a tooth and replace it with an implant rather than promote less invasive options that might save the tooth.

When it came to simple restorations, he recommended 3M ESPE’s Ketac Nano and GC America’s Fuji II LC. Dr. Christensen went on to point out the critical importance of preventive care and an active hygiene department that puts varnish and even at home fluoride treatment to use, and he previewed an ongoing study about remineralization that is still a year away from publication, but is not returning encouraging results. “We’re not finding any remineralization product that works all the way at this point,” he said before saying 3M ESPE’s Clinpro 5000 is working better than the rest thus far.

While lectures such as Dr. Christensen’s gave clinicians a chance to catch up on the latest trends and techniques in the industry, the Hinman meeting also provided a range of hands-on opportunities that allowed attendees to learn the best ways to use various products first hand. Consultant Laci Phillips presented a workshop on practice management software with a room full of computers to give attendees the chance to test out the latest offerings from Carestream, Curve Dental, Dentrix and Eaglesoft. Participants were guided through various regular tasks accomplished with the software while Phillips provided useful tips for getting the most out of the systems. Every so often the participants traded seats, allowing each of them to have some first-hand experience with each of the different systems.

During his presentation on hot topics in dentistry, Dr. Louis Malcmacher shared his views on the advantages of offering esthetic treatments such as botox injections and dermal fillers in dental settings. He presented the techniques for the treatments and explained how in certain situations they can provide both functional and esthetic results. He said dentists are the health care professionals best equipped to provide total facial esthetics because they know the anatomy of the area and are the only clinicians with an understanding of intraoral esthetics.

Many of the presentations covered practice building concepts as well as clinical techniques. An afternoon session led by Scottsdale Center for Dentistry founder Imtiaz Manji focused on how clinicians need to be ready to keep up with the changing way patients communicate. He stressed the importance of staying up with the technology curve and using new technologies and new communication techniques to reach patients. He said patients need to be shown the value of dentistry and the first step to doing that is communicating with them the ways they communicate with each other.

“if we’re going to stay in practice, we’re not going to communicate with our patients via their home phone, it will be their cell phone, and we wont be calling, it will be with texts,” he said.

Manji explained that an online presence is about engaging with patients the way they engage with each other and social media such as Facebook can be a huge practice builder because it allows patients to be the gatekeepers to a practice because their praise in these online social arenas is far more effective than advertising.

Other sessions focused on hot topics in the hygiene and dental assisting worlds, as well as the technologies changing the way dentists practice. Two more days of education and demonstrations are on tap in Atlanta as the 99th Hinman Meeting continues into the weekend.